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(5) Where there is a difference of opinion among the Judges forming the Special Bench, the decision shall

be in accordance with the opinion of the majority of those Judges Comments State Government issued order of forfeiture of book on the ground that it contained matter punishable under sections 124A 153A and 295A High Court may set aside such order if opinion of Government is not found correct; Hemandas v State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1961 SC 1662: (1961) 2 Cr LJ 815

97. Search for persons wrongfully confined If any District Magistrate, Sub-divisional Magistrate or Magistrate of the first class has reason to believe that any person is confined under such circumstances that the confinement amounts to an offence, he may issue, a search-warrant, and the person to whom such warrant is directed may search for the person so confined; and such search shall be made in accordance therewith, and the person, if found, shall be immediately taken before a Magistrate, who shall make such order as in the circumstances of the case seems proper

98. Power to compel restoration of abducted females Upon complaint made on oath of the abduction or unlawful detention of a woman, or a female child under the age of eighteen years, for any unlawful purpose, a District Magistrate, Subdivisional Magistrate or Magistrate of the first class may make an order for the immediate restoration of such woman to her liberty, or of such female child to her husband, parent, guardian or other person having the lawful charge or such child, and may compel compliance with such order, using such force as may be necessary

CGeneral provisions relating to searches

99. Direction, etc, of search-warrants The provisions of sections 38, 70, 72, 74, 77, 78 and 79 shall, so far as may be, apply to all search-warrants issued under section 93, section 94, section 95 or section 97 100. Persons in charge of closed place to allow search (1) Whenever any place liable to search of inspection under this Chapter is closed, any person residing in, or being in charge of, such place, shall, on demand of the officer or other person executing the warrant, and on production of the warrant, allow him free ingress thereto, and afford all reasonable facilities for a search therein (2) If ingress into such place cannot be so obtained, the officer or other person executing the warrant may proceed in the manner provided by sub-section (2) of section 47

(3) Where any person in or about such place is reasonably suspected of concealing about his person any article for which search should be made, such person may be searched and if such person is a woman, the search shall be made by another woman with strict regard to decency (4) Before making a search under this Chapter, the officer or other person about to make it shall call upon two or more independent and respectable inhabitants of the locality in which the place to be searched is situate or of any other locality if no such inhabitant of the said locality is available or is willing to be a witness to the search, to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do (5) The search shall be made in their presence, and a list of all things seized in the course of such search and of the places in which they are respectively found shall be prepared by such officer or other person and signed by such witnesses; but no person witnessing a search under this section shall be required to attend the Court as a witness of the search unless specially summoned by it (6) The occupant of the place searched, or some person in his behalf, shall, in every instance, be permitted to attend during the search, and a copy of the list prepared under this section, signed by the said witnesses, shall be delivered to such occupant or person (7) When any person is searched under sub-section (3), a list of all things taken possession of shall be prepared, and a copy thereof shall be delivered to such person (8) Any person who, without reasonable cause, refuses or neglects to attend and witness a search under this section, when called upon to do so by an order in writing delivered or tendered to him, shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 187 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) Comments (i) Public witnesses may not be joined, but attempt must be made to join the public witnesses; Sadhu Singh v State of Punjab, (1997) 3 Crimes 55 (PH) (ii) There can be cases when public witnesses are reluctant to join or are not available All the same, the prosecution must show a genuine attempt having been made to join public witnesses; Sadhu Singh v State of Punjab, (1997) 3 Crimes 55 (PH) (iii) A stereo-type statement of non-availability of any Public witness will not be sufficient particularly when at the relevant time, it was not difficult to procure the services of public witness, Sadhu Singh v State of Punjab, (1997) 3 Crimes 55 (PH) 101. Disposal of things found in search beyond jurisdiction When, in the execution of a search-warrant at any place beyond the local jurisdiction of the Court which issued the same, any of the things for which search is made, are found, such things, together with the list of the same prepared under the provisions hereinafter contained, shall be immediately taken before the Court issuing the warrant, unless such place is nearer to the

(7) When an order for payment of compensation to an accused person is made in a case which is subject to appeal under sub-section (6), the compensation shall not be paid to him before the period allowed for the presentation of the appeal has elapsed, or, if an appeal is presented, before the appeal has been decided; and where such order is made in a case which is not so subject to appeal the compensation shall not be paid before the expiration of one month from the date of the order. (8) The provisions of this section apply to summons-cases as well as to warrant cases.


251. Substance of accusation to be stated When in a summons-case the accused appears or is brought before the Magistrate, the particulars of the offence of which he is accused shall be stated to him, and he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty or has any defence to make, but it shall not be necessary to frame a formal charge.

252. Conviction on plea of guilty If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea as nearly as possible in the words used by the accused and may, in his discretion convict him thereon.

253. Conviction on plea of guilty in absence of accused in petty cases (1) Where a summons has been issued under section 206 and the accused desires to plead guilty to the charge without appearing before the Magistrate, he shall transmit to the Magistrate, by post or by messenger, a letter containing his plea and also the amount of fine specified in the summons. (2) The Magistrate may, in his discretion, convict the accused in his absence, on his plea of guilty and sentence him to pay the fine specified in the summons, and the amount transmitted by the accused shall be adjusted towards that fine, or where a pleader authorised by the accused in this behalf pleads guilty on behalf of the accused, the Magistrate shall record the plea as nearly as possible in the words used by the pleader and may, in his discretion, convict the accused on such plea and sentence him as aforesaid. 254. Procedure when not convicted (1) If the Magistrate does not convict the accused under section 252 or section 253, the Magistrate shall proceed to hear the prosecution and take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution, and also to hear the accused and take all such evidence as he produces in his defence.

(2) The Magistrate may, if he thinks fit, on the application of the prosecution or the accused, issue a summons to any witness directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing. (3) A Magistrate may, before summoning any witness on such application, require that the reasonable expenses of the witness incurred in attending for the purposes of the trial be deposited in Court.

255. Acquittal or conviction (1) If the Magistrate, upon taking the evidence referred to in section 254 and such further evidence, if any, as he may, of his own motion, cause to be produced, finds the accused not guilt, he shall record an order of acquittal. (2) Where the Magistrate does not proceed in accordance with the provisions of section 325 or section 360, he shall, if he finds the accused guilty, pass sentence upon him according to law. (3) A Magistrate may, under section 252 or section 255, convict the accused of any offence triable under this Chapter which form the facts admitted or proved he appears to have committed, whatever may be the nature of the complaint or summons, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the accused would not be prejudiced thereby.

256. Non-appearance or death of complainant (1) If the summons has been issued on complaint and on the day appointed for the appearance of the accused, or any day subsequent thereto to which the hearing may be adjourned, the complainant does not appear, the Magistrate shall notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, acquit the accused unless for some reason he thinks it proper to adjourn the hearing of the case to some other day: Provided that where the complainant is represented by a pleader or by the officer conducting the prosecution or where the Magistrate is of opinion that the personal attendance of the complainant is not necessary, the Magistrate may dispense with his attendance and proceed with the case. (2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall, so far as may be, apply also to cases where the nonappearance of the complainant is due to his death. Comments There is no denying that the dismissal of the complaint in default under section 256 entails the acquittal of the accused. Once an accused has been acquitted of the offence, the law provides a remedy by way of an appeal against the order of acquittal under section 378 (4) of the Code; H.P. Agro Industries Corpn. Ltd. v. M.P.S. Chawla, (1997) 2 Crimes 591 (H&P).

257. Withdrawal of complaint If a complainant, at any time before a final order is passed in any case under this Chapter, satisfies the Magistrate that there are sufficient grounds for permitting him to withdraw his complaint against the accused, or if there be more than one accused, against all or any of them, the Magistrate may permit him to withdraw the same, and shall thereupon acquit the accused against whom the complaint is so withdrawn.

258. Power to stop proceedings in certain cases In any summons-case instituted otherwise than upon complaint, a Magistrate of the first class or, with the previous sanction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, any other Judicial Magistrate, may, for reasons to be recorded by him, stop the proceedings at any stage without pronouncing any judgment and where such stoppage of proceedings is made after the evidence of the principal witnesses has been recorded, pronounce a judgment of acquittal, and in any other case release, the accused, and such release shall have the effect of discharge.

259. Power of Court to convert summons-cases into warrant cases When in the course of the trial of a summons-case relating to an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months, it appears to the Magistrate that in the interests of justice, the offence should be tried in accordance with the procedure for the trial of warrantcases, such Magistrate may proceed to re-hear the case in the manner provided by this Code for the trial of warrant-cases and may recall any witness who may have been examined.


260. Power to try summarily (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Code (a) any Chief Judicial Magistrate; (b) any Metropolitan Magistrate; (c) any Magistrate of the first class specially empowered in this behalf by the High Court, may, if he thinks fit, try in a summary way all or any of the following offences: (i) offences not punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years;